Cotswold gardeners scoop several top awards at The Chelsea Flower Show 2016
PUBLISHED: 10:00 25 May 2016 | UPDATED: 10:00 25 May 2016
Cotswold gardeners are celebrating after a clutch of top awards at The Chelsea Flower Show which saw Andy Sturgeon winning Best Show Garden.
Cheltenham-based designer and Cotswold Life columnist Chris Beardshaw got gold for his rooftop garden for Great Ormond Street Hospital. It will be relocated at the children’s hospital after the show with the help of Nick Knowles and the BBC One DIY SOS team. The planned relocation has driven the design with shade-tolerant planting and trees carefully positioned to eventually sit on load-bearing parts of the roof. Chris was delighted with the award but said winning at Chelsea was only part of the story.
“This garden is so much more than six days on the Chelsea stage, as it has a permanent and key role to play back at the hospital where it will help transform the lives of parents and families of children being treated.”
There was gold too for the L’Occitane garden, designed by James Basson and built by Peter Dowle, based near Ruardean. A depiction of Haute Provence where the beauty firm started 40 years ago, it’s palette of sun-loving plants are revelling in the sunshine that has greeted the opening of Chelsea.
Peter, who won gold at the RHS Malvern Spring Festival two weeks ago, praised the detail that has gone into the garden, including placing snail shells from Provence in plants and borders.
Forest of Dean stone, supplied by Cotswold firm Lichen Antiques, helped designer Cleve West to yet another RHS gold with his evocation of the landscape of Exmoor. The firm also supplied stone for the Royal Bank of Canada garden, which won silver-gilt.
Herb queen Jekka McVicar got silver-gilt for her first show garden stocked with plants grown at her South Gloucestershire nursery. She said it had been hard work getting the plants ready in time with frost and heavy rain – at one point she was running around in the early hours in torrential rain moving plants under cover.
“The blue flax was totally flattened.”
It recovered and is one of the key plants on a garden that shows the health benefits of plants.
And there was silver-gilt for The Winton Beauty of Mathematics Garden, which features a copper vortex water sculpture by Avening artist Giles Rayner.
In the Artisan section, the Meningitis Now Futures Garden won silver-gilt. Designed by John Everiss, it celebrates the Stroud charity’s 30th anniversary and shows how it helps families hit by the disease.
Wooden sculptures, modelled on youngsters who have had meningitis, are seen confronting the disease wall with one failing to get through, representing those who have died.
“It’s been very emotional,” said John, who wove orange poppies – the charity’s colour – through the planting to show the help it gives.
And in the Great Pavilion, Gloucester florist Katherine Kear led a team from the Three Counties and Wales to gold with an exhibit for the National Association of Flower Arrangement Societies celebrating the Victorian’s influence on gardening.
“I’m happy beyond belief,” she said. “I’m also pleased we achieved what we wanted: we’ve told a story and we’ve given people pleasure as they look at it.”